The Winelands Marathon was the first marathon I ever did way back in 1999. So after a 13 year gap, and 11 years since my last marathon, I was back for some more punishment.
The route follows the undulating hills that host the cape wineland vineyards, offering one of the more scenic marathon routes in the country.
Personally, I don’t like running through the concrete jungle – so as far as road races go – this was ideal.
The start & finish was at the Coetzenberg Athletics Track, and the race was both well supported, and well organized.
It can get rather hot this side of the world, so I was with much relief that the runners were met with an overcast sky and a cool breeze – perfect marathon weather.
The overcast to clearing conditions also resulted in some well orchestrated scenery for the runners to admire as they ticked off the kilometres:
The skies did clear a little later – lathering those of us who neglected the sunscreen with a mild case of sunburn.
The final 5 or so km’s are all a very welcome downhill – although after covering 30 something km’s I’m not sure what hurts more – the up or down hills.
Be warned – the route is not flat – although thankfully (for me at least) most of the challenging hills are on the first half of the route – with only 1 really nasty hill at about the 30km mark.
The mat-to-mat timing system was a pleasant surprise – I even got sms’ed my time to my phone as soon as I finished. Cool.
Hopefully more races will take advantage of this in the future.
My only gripe was the race t-shirt. I suppose for R80 I shouldn’t have expected anything better, but the quality was not nearly on par with what’s usually on offer.
A most enjoyable race on an even more enjoyable day – I’ll definitely be back next year.